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08/02/2002 Entry: "Bush and Atta Visit Same Resort Hours Before 9-11"

Bush and Atta Visit Same Resort in the Hours Leading to 9-11
More smoke, more fire.
by Daniel Hopsicker

Atta Bush Mystery

July 29—Venice, FL.

Just three nights before President George W Bush arrived at the swank Colony Resort on Longboat Key on the evening of Sept 10, 2001, Mohamed Atta was staying at a slightly-less tony  hotel just two miles down the beach, the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites—Longboat Key, according to eyewitnesses who contacted the FBI in the immediate aftermath of the attack. Predictably, the story went nowhere. So too did early wire reports stating that on the day of the attack Sarasota police said the Secret Service interrogated four Sudanese men after getting a tip that the men intended to harm President Bush during his visit to the city. 

The incident was found to be "unrelated" to the attacks, the AP reported, and ended in the release of the men. But these stories are now being resurrected in the wake of recent reports of a possible Longboat Key assassination attempt against Bush on the morning of the terrorist attack, and they are provoking disturbing questions about how much, or how little, Americans have been told about the events surrounding the attack on their country.

In an exclusive interview with theMadCowMorningNews, the bartender at Marty's Pub at the Holiday Inn, Darlene Sieverts said, "Mohamed Atta sat right on that bar stool, drinking rum and coke." "I didn't have any real interaction with him. A bartender can tell when a customer doesn't want to talk, and he didn't."

"How do you say 'I'll have what he's having?'"

"About fifteen minutes later he was joined by a second man. When
I approached (the second man) and asked what he'd like to drink, he
indicated that he didn't speak English, and motioned for Atta to
intercede. Instead of ordering something for him, Atta asked for the
bill," bartender Sieverts told us. 

"He left a $20 bill to cover a $4. tab."

Sieverts recollections of spotting on Longboat Key the most
cold-blooded killer of the still-young 21st Century—just a few short
days before Bush's arrival—were confirmed to the FBI by other hotel
employees, several of whom also recalled seeing Atta on another
occasion, dining in the hotel's Gulfstream restaurant  with a man
identified by  the restaurant manager and a waiter as Marwan Al-shehhi.

The two both dined on the hotel’s featured 'Surf & Turf'

The revelation of Atta's proximity to Bush, first
reported in the local Longboat Observer, 
deepens the mystery
surrounding the pre-dawn warning received by the Secret Service detail
protecting the President on his Florida trip in the early morning hours
on Sept 11.

Alarmingly, The Colony, which bills itself as "the nation's no.
1 tennis resort," is just two miles of mostly-deserted white sand
away from the Holiday Inn Hotel frequented by Atta and Al-shehhi.

Longboat Key is located just outside Sarasota, Fl., itself the home
of such curious attractions as the Ringling Bros. Circus, and Florida
Secretary of State Katherine Harris, now running for Congress, the local
daughter of a citrus magnate who became internationally-famous overnight
in the aftermath of the Presidential election of  2000.

Bush was in Florida to promote his administration's new education
bill. His first stop of the day was to be at the Emma E Booker
Elementary School in Sarasota—a 25-minute drive from the Colony.

"Four Sudanese men? In Sarasota?"

In the warning, Zainelabdeen Omer, a Sudanese national who has since
disappeared, told authorities of an immediate threat of a possible
assassination attempt and terror attack on America from a friend of his,
a man named "Ghandi" who had just arrived in Sarasota to bail
someone out of jail.

To bring the day's chronology into focus, a little after 6am on
September 11, 2001, according to an AP report, "Bush awoke in the
magnificent surroundings of the Colony
Beach Resort
on Longboat Key, an upscale and relatively-pristine
tropical island enclave located directly on the Gulf of Mexico a spindly
coral island in the Gulf of Mexico, off Sarasota, Florida."

"The previous evening Mr Bush had dined beachside with his
brother Jeb, the governor of Florida, the state that had controversially
handed him the presidency. Now, on the morning of his 234th day in
office, a light, warm breeze was slipping in from the ocean, and, after
breakfast, Bush led his Secret Service crew on a four-mile run around
the nearby Serenoa golf links."

"On his return to the Colony, the President showered, changed
into a lightweight, dark blue suit, and, still glowing from the
morning's exertion, sat down for the first routine intelligence briefing
of the day. It was 8am."

"At the same time Atta, was fourteen hundred miles away, making
his way onto American Airlines Flight 11 taking off from Boston's Logan
International Airport, followed 14 minutes later from the same airport
by Al-Shehhi, aboard United Airlines Flight 175."

"No van, no warning? No problem."

The AP story neglects any mention of a
van filled with Middle Eastern men
attempting to gain access to the President
at the same time as Bush is leaving for his morning jog.

And although the story was reported on the local NBC affiliate, the
AP also neglects any mention of the pre-dawn warning of an attack.

Instead, the AP's account of Bush briefing that morning states that
"The President's briefing appears to have included some reference
to the heightened terrorist risk reported throughout the summer, but
contained nothing specific, severe or imminent enough to necessitate a
call to Condoleezza Rice, his 47-year-old National Security Adviser.

The FBI, too, seemed unimpressed.

"Nationwide the FBI has received over 200,00 such tips, stated FBI
spokesman Sarah Oakes,
"with more than 5000 of the tips coming
into the Tampa office alone."

"Mum's the word in Florida"

Unlike whistleblowers who have come forward in the FBI's Minneapolis
and Phoenix offices, to name just two, agents in the Tampa FBI office
have maintained their silence.

So too have agents in the Sarasota FBI office. 

Does their silence signal valid national security concerns? Or just

Atta and Al-Shehhi's presence on Longboat Key just days before the
President's arrival raise a number of disturbing questions. 

The most pressing is also the most obvious. What were terrorists doing on Longboat Key?

Still, the Secret Service, no doubt very aware of
Atta's suspicious presence on Longboat Key,  has dismissed the
pre-dawn warning they received as "just coincidence."

This must mean that when, three days later, a van filled with Middle Eastern men
attempted to gain entry to Bush's hotel by posing as journalists, it has
nothing at all to do with "terrorist ringleader" Mohamed Atta's
recent presence on Longboat Key.

It is all just a coincidence.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Daniel Hopsicker

is the author of

Barry & 'the boys:

The CIA, the Mob

and America's

Secret History.

email the author

Viewer Commentary: 4 comments

what happened to the ATM video of the evening of september 10 2001 showing atta and the other agent.why would a man who knew he was going to die the next day be so apparently pleased about the account info on the screen?why was mohammed atta's luggage the ONLY luggage not transferred at logan?

Posted by paul a lanford @ 08/03/2002 11:36 AM EST

where are the airport camera video of the terrorist boarding their flights? Why are some of the listed 19 terrorists still alive? What about the FBI connection to the first twin tower bombing? Can't get it right try try again I guess? What about building 7 collasping before the towers did? Why did take the airforce so long to respond when they did at only 500 mph? hell the doom airliners was going faster than that! How about the all the put opitions?

I could go on all day but I have better things to do!

Posted by Rexxx @ 08/03/2002 01:13 PM EST

I read one of your excellent pieces on Indymedia national newswire one time. I wrote the quote down - "Where there's smoke, there's fire, but around the Bushes there's an inferno."

You wrote that four months before the WTC attacks. For sure this Bush cabal are Americas most powerful crime syndicate... EVER. And shame on the people of America who are now nothing more than sheep.

Posted by The Unifier @ 08/22/2002 03:13 PM EST

I have seen the ufo`s during attack nr.2 One looked like a fighterplane,the second one was a sphere and the third one looked like the "global hawk". Since that day I could not sleep for at least 48hours. I was in shock... THE SECOND PLANE WAS ESCORTED INTO W.T.C. I hope U all will see these tapes. My sad heart is with victims and their families. Use your vote wise.(next time)

Posted by john from holland @ 09/14/2002 04:26 PM EST

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